DHL and Volvo trial 18-tonne hybrid

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DHL Supply Chain is set to trial what it says is the world’s first 18-tonne hybrid distribution truck, in partnership with Volvo Trucks.

The vehicle is powered by an electric motor and a diesel engine, which can be used separately or together, to reduce fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent, as well as lower emissions and noise levels.

The vehicle will also have a dry freight teardrop body fitted by Don-Bur, and regenerative braking to capture energy for storage in its onboard Lithium ion batteries. The electrical energy created is used for the electric motor to accelerate the truck up to 15kph.

DHL and Volvo have agreed to trial the vehicle for a two-year period; it will initially be operated in and around London.

Ian MacAulay, innovation manager, UK Fleet Engineering Services, DHL Supply Chain, said: “DHL has made a firm commitment to improve its carbon efficiency by 30 per cent by 2020, and new developments in vehicle technology and fuels will be vital in achieving the target.

“This hybrid solution is a world first for 18-tonne distribution vehicles. Energy efficient vehicles also have the benefit of reducing costs and in a time when businesses are keen to drive out inefficiencies this is an important cost saver to recognise.”


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